The results of the Greenland elections, this Wednesday (7/3), check the progress of a major mining project on the island Major international interest in the Arctic – And for this reason, it has been closely monitored by great powers.
Greenland is a region belonging to Denmark, but it is autonomous, so you can choose your rulers. Located between North America and Europe, Greenland covers an area of over 2 million square kilometers and is considered the largest island in the world. It is the least densely populated area in the world: it has a population of only 56,000 people.
The island’s economy depends on fishing and Danish subsidies, but melting ice has paved the way for the exploitation of mineral resources – particularly for a rare element mining project south of the island that was a central theme in this week’s election has been made.
The parliamentary election was easily won by the left-wing Inuit Atakatigit, who garnered 37% of the vote and promised to oppose the mining project. The party will now have to form a new government.
The victory takes the majority of the ruling Cement Party, which has held power for the most part since Greenland gained autonomy from Denmark in 1979. The party defends the mining project.
Understand what is at stake and what is the international interest in the region.
What is on the claim
The company, which owns Quenfjeld’s mine in southern Greenland, says the site has the “potential to become the most important producer of rare earth minerals”, forming groups of 17 elements (such as neodymium, presenium, dysprosium, and terbium). ) Is a group of ) Used in the manufacture of electronics and weapons.
The Siumut party supports the development of the mine, arguing that the project will provide hundreds of jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually over several decades, allowing Denmark more freedom.
But opposition (and now winner) Inuit Ataqatigiit, linked to the people of the region, criticizes the proposal, amid concerns about the production of radioactive pollution and toxic waste.
The future of the Quenfjeld mine is important to many countries – the site is owned by an Australian company, Greenland Minerals, backed by a Chinese company.
Why is Greenland important?
Greenland has been in the news several times in recent years, with the then US President Donald Trump suggesting in 2019 that Americans could buy territories.
China already has mining deals with Greenland, while the United States – which is a major Cold War era airport in Thule City – has offered millions in aid.
Denmark itself recognized the importance of the island: In 2019, it made Greenland a priority on its national security agenda for the first time.
And many other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, are also interested in the region to reduce their dependence on China for mineral supplies.
However, mining is not the only issue at the center of debate in Greenland.
The region is most affected by global warming, with scientists reporting record snow losses in the past year.
But recurring ice has also increased mining opportunities and new shipping routes through the Arctic, which may reduce global transportation time.
This changing reality has focused on long-standing territorial disputes with Denmark, Russia and Canada, who pursue sovereignty over a vast underwater mountain range as the Lomonosov Ridge near the North Pole.
Russia is increasing its economic and military activities in the Arctic, where it has a long coastal coastline, which raises concerns on the part of Western governments.
You have already watched our new videos YoutubeThe Subscribe to our channel!